Picture of David M. Whitaker

David M. Whitaker


David Whitaker is a partner in the New Orleans office of Kean Miller. He joined the firm in 2009 and practices in the labor and employment law group. David concentrates his practice in the defense of employment discrimination, harassment and other employment-related claims, advising employers on compliance with state and federal employment laws, drafting employment contracts, non-compete agreements and other employment-related agreements and policies. David also handles employment-based immigration matters, including assisting employers in obtaining work visas (including H-1B, L, O and TN visas) that allow them to employ skilled foreign workers on a temporary basis in the United States and sponsoring foreign guest workers for permanent resident (green card) status. He also advises, counsels and trains employers regarding I-9 and OSHA compliance and workplace safety issues.

He regularly advises employers with respect to compliance with state and federal wage payment requirements, including the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, as well as the Davis-Bacon Act, which applies to employers performing work on certain federally funded construction projects. In January, 2015 Mr. Whitaker argued a Davis-Bacon case of national significance before the Department of Labor Administrative Review Board. The case concerns whether contractors are responsible for payment of employee lodging expenses on out-of-town projects. Mr. Whitaker also defended an employer in one of the first transgender employment discrimination lawsuits filed in the State of Louisiana. He also frequently advises employers on the proper handling of employee medical leaves, reasonable accommodations and related return to work issues arising under the Family Medical Leave Act and Americans with Disabilities Act.

He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Labor and Employment since 2013, named 2022 and 2024 Lawyer of the Year in Employment Law - Individuals, recognized by New Orleans Magazine as a Top Lawyer in 2022, and was selected for the New Orleans CityBusiness Leadership in Law Award for 2018.

Representative Experience
  • Representation of employers in all types of employment discrimination litigation
  • Representation of employers in arbitration proceedings
  • Training employer supervisors on equal employment opportunity and avoidance of workplace harassment claims
  • Representation of employers in proceedings before governmental agencies, including the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the United States Department of Labor, the National Labor Relations Board, the Louisiana Commission on Human Rights and representation of employers during OSHA worksite inspections
  • Representation of employers in Department of Labor wage and hour audits pursuant to the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and defense of employers against individual and collective action wage and hour claims brought under state and federal law
  • Representation of employers in the enforcement of non-compete agreements and litigation related to the protection of trade secrets and confidential information

David earned his B.S. from the University of New Orleans in 1988. He earned his J.D., cum laude, from Tulane University Law School in 1991 and graduated as a member of the Order of the Coif.

  • Admitted, Louisiana, 1991; United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
Articles, Publications and Presentations